Crooner

Crooner: (n) someone who utilizes smooth but exaggerated singing

Late one night, as a friend and I drove across the expanses of the American prairie, where it was so lonesome and dark that even the prairie dogs had turned in for the night, we quickly discovered that we were getting sleepy.

We tried eating.

We tried listening to the radio.

We tried talking. (I think we confessed all the sins and indiscretions from our youth at least three times over.)

While flipping around the radio, we discovered a channel set aside exclusively for old-time singers like Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby.

We were deeply surprised at how much production was put into each and every song, and how these crooners took every single tune and made it sound the same as the others—simply by homogenizing the words and blending the tones together to develop the same consistency on every ballad.

We got tickled.

We decided to take great rock and roll songs and sing them to one another as if we were crooners. From “Satisfaction” by the Rolling Stones, to “Nights in White Satin” by the Moody Blues, to “Hang On Sloopy,” by the McCoys, to “Get Back” by the Beatles—each rendition was funnier than the last.

After all, rock and roll is known for separating words and lyrics, almost in a syncopated style. When you smear it all together, it not only loses its beat, but certainly threatens to remove all meaning.

Crooners are interesting vocalists.

They took a time in our history, when we wanted our background music to be nearly symphonic, and then they added cottage cheese vocals, to make everything resound with romance.

Still, I don’t think anything else could have kept us awake that night, as we drove across Americana.

It was especially funny when we decided to do our “crooner rendition” of the Kiss song, “I’m Gonna Rock and Roll All Night and Party Every Day.”

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C


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Abbey Road

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter AAbbey Road: a road in northwestern London in England, west of Regents Park, the site of recording studios that are associated with the Beatles and other pop music figures.

John, Paul, Ringo and George were so upsetting to my parents that even though they were not religious people, both of them were convinced that the fab four collectively were the anti-Christ, even though my mom and dad were not all that pro-Christ themselves.

The "funeral procession" on the cove...

The “funeral procession” on the cover of Abbey Road (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I don’t know whether we’ll see another phenomenon like the Beatles in the next one hundred years. It was kind of the perfect storm of cultural upheaval. They had the look of anarchy with their long hair and pointed boots. They had the music of anarchy, which included blues chords taken directly out of the Mississippi Delta from the Negra culture. They had the habits of anarchy in the sense that they appeared to be clean-cut young men until you got close to them and found out that they were rather renegade. And they had the philosophy of anarchy because they didn’t believe that Jesus was as popular as they were.

I was not allowed to listen to the British invasion in my home as a youngster, but rather, had to escape over to Paul Morgenstern’s house to hear the wicked tunes on his radio. I was so obsessed with both the melodies and the general rebellion of being away from home and frolicking to the tunes that I took my clumsy, white, doughboy body and danced in their living room–until Paul’s mother walked in one day and caught me, and wasn’t sure whether to scream, giggle or run out the back door into the outhouse and hide.

I wasn’t invited back much after that. I kept up with the Beatles’ career by going to friends’ houses for overnight stays, where I would gluttonize on the hits, hoping that in the days of musical starvation to follow, I would be able to sustain myself.

My parents have since passed away, leaving behind adequate gravestones to mark their presence. Meanwhile, the Beatles failed to end the world, but instead, granted it a few moments of pleasure from their recording perch up there on Abbey Road.

It gives me pause today when I see people wrangling and wrestling over cultural phenomena–to stop for a moment and not participate simply because I am age-worthy.

It is rather doubtful that the world will end with a great rock and roll song. My guess would be the closing gavel at a political convention.